Description: Portrait of a Sunflower

Hello everyone, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything. Years ago I was a moderator of the Man and Nature forum, and a moderator of the Pacific Northwest Nature Photographers Network. It’s good to be back on line.

This image was taken at a local garden. The Sunflowers are coming in nicely.

Specific Feedback Requested:

Any comments or critiques are appreciated.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Is this a composite? Yes

I guess this would be called a composite, much like a focus-stacked image would be a composite.

I’ve always liked the look of the out of focus areas (Bokeh) when shooting wide open. However it’s difficult to get much depth of field, especially for closeup work. This is image is a result of two shots, one wide open to get that bokeh and one at f/11 to get the depth. I processed both in Capture One, synchronized them and then pulled them into Photoshop. I copied the wide open shot and pasted it atop the f/11. Then I soft-brushed a mask on the flower to reveal the f/11 image below it. It gives me the best of both.

Taken with a Fujifilm GFX100 and 100-200 lens, ISO 100.

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Welcome back, David. Love the detail in the sunflower and the way you’ve processed the image. Going to have to give that a try. Nicely done.

Lovely! Stunning detail on the main flower and the OOF BG flower is a very nice touch. The distant BG is lovely, with just enough happening without being distracting. The yellows are well-controlled.

There was a short discussion a while back the definition given of a composite doesn’t really fit for a focus stack. Maybe somebody could add it as a third option.


The blend of a sun eclipsing a smaller, more distant sun is intriguing. What really is beautiful is you handling of the yellow. The luminance is just right. It is bright and cheerful, as sunflowers should be, but not so much luminance that the texture of the ray petals is lost.


Hi David and welcome back! What a cheerful image to hallmark your return.

It certainly does. I also like what I call and OOF Echo in flower pictures, but it has to be done skillfully and with enough OOF so it’s not distracting. This one isn’t. There is so much detail in the main subject that I can fill in the echo in my imagination. Nice tight crop and a lovely presentation. Have you played with darkening the greens a bit? I might make this even more dramatic.

David has clarified the definition of Composite to exclude focus stacks. If the back flower had been a different flower that was added, it would qualify as a composite.

@linda_mellor - Thank you for the nice comments.

@Diane_Miller - Thanks for the note about composite images. I appreciate it. And thanks for the comments

@paul_g_wiegman - Thank you, this was shot in shade so I could control the luminance better. I believe I also brushed in a bit of “Texture” on the main flower.

@Kris_Smith - Thank you, I’ll play around with the greens to see what it looks like. Thanks for your comments.


Welcome back to NPN David.

I like @Kris_Smith terms of an “OOF echo”, this interpretation of that works very well. I like to see repetition in images, and you have a number of repeating patterns here, and they work well together.

In terms of composition, I like the tighter, more intimate view created by cutting off the foreground flowers petals. That was clearly a deliberate decision on your part, and it works for me. My only suggestion for improvement is that I wish there was a tiny sliver of more space on the right for breathing room. Maye you could create that via add canvas and content aware fill in PS.